Europe’s Gathering Storm – by Diane Francis (Substack – May 6, 2024)

French President Emmanuel Macron shocked the world on February 26 by suggesting that Europeans may have to send troops to help Ukraine. Then on May 4, he doubled-down and said French troops would go to Ukraine if Kyiv requested their help. He also described Europe as “mortal” and said that “things can fall apart very quickly” because the US is no longer guarantor of Europe’s security.

“I have a clear strategic objective: Russia cannot win in Ukraine,” Macron said. “If Russia wins in Ukraine, there will be no security in Europe. Who can pretend that Russia will stop there? What security will there be for neighboring countries, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Lithuania and the others?” His clarion call was echoed by the leader of Europe’s other nuclear power, Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who said “if Putin is allowed to succeed in this war of aggression, he will not stop at the Polish border”.

A sudden pivot to panic grips Europeans following America’s weapons delays and as waves of Russian “cannon fodder” are starting to breach the frontline. The new realization is that this war is not only about weapons but about manpower. On May 4, controversial military strategist Edward Luttwak wrote: “The arithmetic of this is inescapable: NATO countries will soon have to send soldiers to Ukraine, or else accept catastrophic defeat.”

Another 1939 moment of truth has arrived for Europe. Ukrainians have borne the brunt and direct confrontation between Russia and NATO members has been avoided thus far, but is becoming unavoidable.

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